What would be proof that God exists?

  1. This question has probably been asked before but its a good question and I'd like a shot at dealing with it. Let's get down to basics. Never mind the Bible at this stage. I would like all those atheists or agnostics out there to state precisely what they would regard as satisfactory proof to them that God exists. If you believe that there is no such thing as God what would it take to change your mind, (assuming it is open to be changed of course)?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Strong, unambigious, unequivocal evidence. Unambigious, unequivocal evidence of any kind would be a start.
     
  4. Honestly, there can be no absolute proof. I'd be willing to accept any clear-cut evidence of a specific religion's deity, but that still couldn't prove that it was an actual god. It could, after all, be an alien.
     
  5. I don't want to speak for Zero, but from my point of view, most things are no where near 'provable', so proving something would be much more than needed. I accept evolution as the origin of the species, but that hardly means I consider it proven.

    Simple, unequivocal evidence would be an excellent start.
     
  6. megashawn

    megashawn 506
    Science Advisor

    Something I can see, touch or even hear, so long as more then myself is hearing it. Something that could be recorded, studied, and actually prove beneficial.

    For instance, I'd be a bit more likely to believe in the Christian god if we were able to find the Garden of Eden. Seems like the bible says it is still located on earth, with a giant cherebum (spelling) on guard.

    Basically, something we can sink our teeth in, and have the bad breath to remind us.

    See, thats just it. I don't believe anything. I have no clue whats behind everything. Common sense and reasoning has shown that there seems to be a natural explanation for most things questionable. It is not that I don't believe in a God, more so I am ignorant of such a being, and will not make a judgement based on ignorance.

    And seeing as how most every religion promotes there god(s) as being all knowing, all powerfull, and transcending space and time then I cannot understand why such a being would allow me to live in ignorance. Especially when making just a quick appearance would cancel all doubts. Just a simple message, perhaps in modern, digital technology so that the original cannot ever be changed.

    Yup, thats it. If god wants me to believe in him/her, then I want him to magically create a cd in my drive that explains in full his plans for humanity.

    As almost any religion promotes there god as being all powerfull, this should not be a problem.
     
  7. The thing I would like you guys to try and do is to be specific about the evidence that would change your mind. Don't say strong evidence or solid evidence or something along those lines. All of you except Megashawn are leaving it open to yourselves to say that whatever evidence is presented is not strong enough or its too ambiguous. Tell me exactly what evidence you would need that would prove to you that there is a God.
     
  8. megashawn

    megashawn 506
    Science Advisor


    Well, I provided you with some requirements, you gonna take your shot or not?
     
  9. No, unequivocal and unambiguous is straightforward. I can give examples. If a magical entity appeared before me, and violated a few known laws of physics, then told me that he/she was a diety and that I was to accept 'such and such', assuming that it was logically consistent, I would accept that.

    If I had seen the burning bush, I'd be a lot more inclined to believe in and be subservient to god.

    I certainly can't accept that there is a loving and just god that would allow someone to suffer for eternity. Justice implies a proportionality between crime and punishment, no finite crime balances against an infinite punishment.

    What I can't accept is that an experience of a feeling, which could (and is by different religions) is often interpreted in a specific way and just happens to be something that a small segment of the world accepts as true.

    I can't accept that just because it says so in a book, with absolutely, positively no way of determining if it's true (without dying) or just the beliefs of a middle-eastern, bronze age tribe of nomads that's been elaborated on for 2000 years.

    I can't accept that a god would require folks to worship him. That's incredibly insulting to a god. That a god, who has given virtually no evidence of his existence - that would classify as the pinnicle of egotistical behaviour, IMO.

    Importantly, I would like to be able to apply a test: Assume we have an alien or deep rain forest aboriginal indian, with good intellectual capabilities, but no knowledge of any particular religion. Set the arguments and evidence for god 'X' and his religion. Would he say this was not just something that is possible, but highly probable?

    Another test: Give a theistic religious doctrine - can it be shown to be any more probable than the old Greek religion (Zeus and his cohorts).

    Does this give you a more concrete idea of what it would take, and why the current state doesn't met my criteria or even probable, much less highly probable?
     
  10. So you'd like to find the Garden of Eden and for God to create a cd in your drive. You know I'm almost sorry I asked this question now. I should have known better. I should have remembered a scripture that is particularly relevant to this question. After Jesus was arrested and he was taken before the chief preists and scribes they said to him "If you are the Christ, tell us." But he said to them, "Even if I tell you, you will by no means believe." (Luke 22:67) The thing is there is already abundant evidence of the existence of God. The God of our universe is a reasonable God and he respects the intellectual ability that he gave us. He does not expect blind faith. If the evidence that exists already does not convince you then nothing will.

    The Garden of Eden has long since withered away. That's what happens to a garden that is not maintained in this world, even a perfectly created garden. Today the site of the garden would look just like anywhere else, you wouldn't even know it had been there. Also, I have no doubt that the cherubs that God posted at the east of the garden left a long time ago. They were only there to prevent Adam from re-entering the garden. After he died there was no point in them remaining there. As for the CD there is only one thing I can say. I have always said that nothing in life is written in concrete but this time I think it is safe to say that I can guarantee you that God is not going to create a CD in your drive (even though he could do it very easily). And even if God did put a CD in your drive and it had these amazing plans for the future of man you wouldn't think it was from God. You would just say someone put it there. Actually you don't need a CD from God by special delivery to find out in full his plans for humanity. He's already stated his plans in full in the Bible for everyone to see.

    That's why we have the Bible. God inspired men over many centuries to write a collection of books that tell you about God, his plans for humanity, how the world became screwed up, what is going to happen in the future and how you can gain everlasting life. But God will not force this knowledge on you. If you want to know the truth badly enough then you will find it. Or you could just ask me and I could tell you but then what's the point of that, you wouldn't believe me anyway.
     
  11. Every time I read something like that, I just want to laugh and cry. A book written by men, that isn't even internally consistant, which claims to be teh truth, should be taken as such because it claims to be true.

    Go on, pull the other one, it has bells on.
     
  12. No Zero. Not because it claims to be true. Any book could do that. But for many reasons. Let's not continue this here. I will prepare a post that sets out the most cogent reasons for believing that the Bible is indeed God's word and we'll continue this debate there (if you're game). Watch this space, it may take me a week or two.
     
  13. Zero you just prove that what Laser Eyes says is true. You would not believe if told or shown.

    The Bible was written by man and interpreted into different languages many times. It does not have to be consistent nor absolutely word for word True. The truth is there within stories and parables. You have only to look with an open mind and heart.

    No one can prove to you or anyone less that God exists and what God is like. Only you can find the God, Buddha or whatever that is within you. Only then can you accept and know the truth and come to know both yourself and God.

    God is not in a physics book nor is he in the bible. God is not in a church or your home unless you know God and invite him in to your home both objectively and subjectively.

    God does not demand that we worship him out of ignorance or subservience. We do not worship God because he needs and wants to be worshiped. That is absurd. We need to worship God for our sake not his. This is the best way to come to know God and ourselves.

    God is not hiding in any burnig bush nor anywhere else. It is only when we look outside of ourselves that we cannot find God or Buddha.
    There is no mystery, no magic, no miracle or supernatural event needed to find God and all the proof that you or anyone else could possibly want or need.

    Just simply look inside your self, at your seat of consciousness and being with an open wondering heart and mind. It is as natural as opening your eyes and seeing for the first time; but, you have to really actually open your eyes and truly want to see the truth and be willing to accept what is real and true. Far to often our egos and mind sets will not let us do that. Thus we are truly blind and cannot and will not see the truth.

    It usually is not something that we can do in one attempt or one day. It takes time to train our mind, our hearts and our egos to be quiet and to accept what is instead of what we believe or want to believe.
     
  14. *Shrugs*

    Whatever, dude...you say that we can believe whatever we want, if we only wish for it hard enough. I think that is a bogus concept, but that's just me.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 24, 2003
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  17. Then I guess neither qualify as evidence to me - it was a question as to what I would accept as evidence. Unless you wish to rewrite what I will accept... :smile:


    Well, though it's been about 35 years, I have read it. A couple of times. I have seen where the passages were, and with more time would find them for you. As with everything they are up for interpretation.

    Again, though, given there are many that do accept this, this was an example of something I couldn't accept, not something that was a uniformally accepted interpretation.
     
  18. Royce,
    I hope I'm misinterpreting what you have been saying, but I get the feeling that you are taking the use of the phrase 'coming to know Buddha' as different from a metaphor of understanding his teachings. He's dead, and has been for close to 2400 years.

    When most folks use the term 'coming to know god', they aren't using the term god as a metaphor - perhaps you are, but most aren't.
     
  19. megashawn

    megashawn 506
    Science Advisor

    Ok. How about we try what we would definetly not consider proof.

    1) The world around us.

    There is enough of an explanation of basic existance to rule out a specific need for a creator.

    2) Lines and passages from any religous text that say things such as "this is the truth, because I say its true, and anything that disagrees is obviously false"

    3) Other things, such as Lasers earlier example:

    In order for me to accept this, I must first accept that God exists, without any true knowledge of his existance. But from a perspective of "I don't know if god exists and lack the information to prove one way or the other." then how am I supposed to simply take this as truth, when the backbone of your arguement is lacking proof.

    More to come, just lacking time.
     
  20. Glenn, It does seem that we do have a different understanding of things. I have no idea what sect (if thats the right word) or maybe better branch of Buddhism the you subscribe to or follow. There are Buddhist who think of Buddha as another name for God. There are those who believe that the Buddha is with in every one and can only be found there. There are others that believe Buddhahood is what is found inside and still others who believe that the Buddha they seek inside is their true self and there are still others who follow Buddhism strictly as a philosophic way of life with no religious or inner seeking at all.

    There are those non-buddhist who think of Buddha as a saint or world changing enlightened philosopher teacher.
    I have said in other post that I read years ago that Buddha had seen God before he, Buddha, died. I, as a Christian Zen Buddhist, think that to follow Buddhism strictly as a living philosophy of life without looking inside oneself and finding ones true self and the Buddha or God is like listening to only the words of a song with no music. But that is me and only my opinion. We all take what we want and can use at the time from any experience, book or religion.

    I have run across the saying that the buddha is within every man and can be found only with in that I came to think of it as a basic tenet of Buddhism. Perhaps I'm wrong. Never the less as both metaphor and spiritual reality it is one of my tenets.
     
  21. What about a life interview with God broadcasted on every television station on earth....

    Interviewer: Let us ask our first question to God. Why did you not reveal yourself earlier to us?

    God: Well I did sent my son, it happened just a moment ago!

    Interviewer: Well already 2000 years have happened since then

    God: Well what is 2000 years on all eternity?

    Interviewer: So how can we know that you actually are God?

    God: Can you proof to me that you are a journalist who interviews me?

    Interviewer: Ehmmm. Right. Next question then. What is your plan for humanity?

    God: Well, didn't they tell that in that book of yours, how was it called again?

    Interviewer: The Bible?

    God: The Bible? What is that?

    Interviewer: It is the most holy book that exist, in which you have revealed yourself.

    God: Oh, is it? People tell so much nonsense, and believe so many nonsense. I never read it, I don't like fiction.

    Interviewer: Well we have been mislead then about that.

    God: I guess so, but haven't I given you brains, so you could find the truth yourself?

    Interviewer: Oh, you mean we have to actually use that gray mass in our heads?

    God: Well what do you think it was intended for then?

    Interviewer: Ehm, well perhaps for believing, hallucinating?

    God: Well it sure looks like you people have not found a good way for using your brains, except for some people them. Perhaps next time I create a consciouss being, we will ship it with a manual!

    Interviewer: Thanks for the interview, your holiness.

    God: You're welcome.
     
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